Monday, January 18, 2010

Bach to Baroque

What a terrible, music-dork/jerk title.

But whatever. It effectively conveys the theme of the gig I did last night over at Eastman (hells yes!).

A dear professor over at SU asked me to sing a few pieces on his organ recital there. First off, let me say right now that of all the instruments in existence that I like, the organ is waaay down at the bottom of the list (right above clarinets...shudder).

I do not like the organ.

I mean, the organ, the instrument, not the organ, the...(oh no, stop right there, Em! Your mother-in-law reads this!)

Aaanyway, regardless of my feelings about the organ, singing is singing, and singing at Eastman is a big deal. So I did it.

It turned out to be really great, because this organ was not the usual organ. It was an organ from the late-seventeenth/early-eighteenth century, and was much cooler than modern organs. It made bird sounds if you wanted it too. Very cool, and for several minutes, very confusing.

Moreover, the organ was in the Baroque gallery of the Memorial Art Gallery, so it was at the end of this lovely room, surrounded by truly fantastic Baroque paintings. The collection was beautiful, they had El Grecos and Tintorettos and lots of other fantastic things.

Here's a picture of the organ:

And here's a picture of the gallery:

So to sing in this room with this organ, surrounded by artwork from the time period in which the music you are singing was composed, was a fabulous experience.

And all this relaxing practice I've been doing, all this yoga and meditation and painting? It's totally paid off in my performing. It's like I've been gathering my forces and honing my concentration and emotion. I felt more confident last night than I ever have. For the first time I felt like a real singer, because I wasn't bogged down by all the negative, scary crap that has been going through my mind for years and years.

All I wanted to do was keep breathing, trust my practice, and wrap my energy around the audience and bring them with me to the places the music would take us.

I suspect it was one of my best performances.

Also, it seems that every time I literally run out of money some more falls from the sky. This was an unpaid gig, but they ended up giving me a $200 honorarium. Not enough to pay off debts and larger bills, but enough to keep going, to eat and pay for gas. And when I run out of that, more will appear. It's happened so many times now that I'm sure of it.

So, it's back to serious music for me. From Santa Lucia and the Godfather theme to Bach and Mozart.

What a fabulous life.


  1. That title?
    Was awesome.

    Love ya!

  2. you are amazing--aMAYzing!!! XXOO

  3. NINJAz APPROVE of your awesome performing. I really want to see you sing sometime!